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The Shrink and the Sage: A Guide to Living [Paperback]

Julian Baggini , Antonia Macaro
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 May 2012
Based on their Financial Times Weekend column, philosopher Julian Baggini and his psychotherapist partner Antonia Macaro offer intriguing answers to life's questions. Can infidelity be good for you? What does it mean to stay true to yourself? Must we fulfil our potential? Self-help with a distinctly cerebral edge, the shrink and the sage - aka Julian Baggini and Antonia Macaro - have been dispensing advice through their FT column since October 2010. Combining practical advice on personal dilemmas with meditations on the meaning of concepts like free will, spirituality and independence, this book - their first together - expands on these columns and adds much more. Through questions of existential unease, metaphysical trauma and - for instance - how much we should care about our appearance, intellectual agony uncle and aunt team Baggini and Macaro begin to piece together the answer that we'd all like to hear: what is the good life, and how we can live it?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848313772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848313774
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julian Baggini's books include The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown, What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, all published by Granta Books. He writes for several newspapers and magazines and is co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine.

Product Description


'[A] very elegant, high-class self-help book' -- Steven Poole, Guardian It gave me some serious food for thought' -- Bookbag

About the Author

Julian Baggini is one the UK's best-known philosophers. Previous books include The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten and The Ego Trick. Antonia Macaro, his partner, has over twenty years' experience as an existential psychotherapist and is the author of Reason, Virtue and Psychotherapy.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The odd couple brings wisdom and wit 16 July 2012
By Hande Z
Baggini, an Aristotelian philosopher, teams up with Macaro, an existential psychotherapist, and takes the reader through a heady, winding, but absolutely breathtaking ride through the landscape of life as we see it - and more importantly, as we should see it. They cover the ground like a pair of heavy tag-team wrestlers, grasping one common assumption after another and tearing it apart before rejoining it as a different article. Take the beautification of our appearances for example. Should we bother? If life is reason what is the need to worry about how we look? Appearances make hypocrites of all of us they say. We are constantly told not to "judge a book by its cover" and yet we do so all the time. We praise the virtue of humility yet not see the importance of pride in the development of our self. In one segment, they talk about what we should do before we die, and there, they envisage the spectre of death for us and provide their thoughts as to how we can deal with death through psychology and philosophy. "Just where death is expecting you is something we cannot know; so for your part, expect him everywhere." They both hold great store in cultivating the ability to detach ourselves from things without detaching ourselves from life. That is a fine balancing act. The authors have some useful training exercises.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio 4 as a starting point 5 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ordered this book after hearing Julian Baggini talking to Andrew Marr on Radio 4 about his ideas of ancient philosophy being relevant to humanity in the present day.
It proved to be an excellent book, never dogmatic, clear,reasonable and nothing supernatural. Having read a few books lately on life , happiness etc this is the one I wanted to write a review of.
Am now reading'Whats it all about?' by the same author, no need to say more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous insight! 11 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The authors weekly column in the Saturday FT magazine is a treat. They drill down into less general issues than the book, such as "How important is luck" the other week. They are so brilliant that I tear them out and keep them in a folder.

This book is highly important to anyone prepared to challenge their own assumptions on what truly matters in life and to question their values. Sadly, it will be lost on most of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, thought-provoking and enjoyable 17 Dec 2013
By Jim H
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have for years been rather suspicious of both philosophers and psychologists but this book has changed that. It is full of good sense and I am really enjoying reading it. You may have heard it all before, but I haven't - certainly not in the interesting way it is done here. I can see that if you have studied these subjects in some depth already, this is not the book for you. For those less well informed it is fine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly worth reading 17 Jan 2013
By Jo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Accessible, easily digestible guide to modern living. Highly relevant and recommended as an introduction to practical philosophy with psychology thrown in.

The only bit I was less keen on was the out of context quoting of Buddhism as fatalistic... Focusing only on "life is suffering" tells only part of the truth about Buddhism. If the rest of the noble truths were taken into account they would have disproved the author's point rather than the other way round.
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